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Doom - Review

The Rock in Doom

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Basic Training; Rock Formation; Master Monster Makers; First Person Shooter Sequence; Doom Nation; Game On.

THE latest computer game to be converted into a film is slightly better than the likes of Resident Evil thanks to a better cast and some neat special effects but it still feels pretty unnecessary.

A shoot ‘em up in the classic video game sense, Doom rips off countless other better movies, from Aliens through to Predator, without bringing anything really new to the formula.

Set in the not-so-distant future, the film follows a group of marines, led by The Rock’s Sarge, as they travel through a portal from Earth to Mars to discover what has happened at a top-secret government research facility that has recently reported a disturbance.

Once there, they find out that scientists have discovered the ruins of a lost civilization and have started to carry out experiments that they shouldn’t, inadvertently creating flesh-eating monsters with super-human attributes.

With the help of one of the few survivors – Rosamund Pike’s doctor, who just happens to be the sister of another marine (Karl Urban) – they set about finding and eliminating the alien presence before it can find a path to Earth.

Sound familiar? That’s because Doom plays like a carbon copy of so many other films, while keeping an eye on its video game origins (having been based on one of the most popular games of all time).

Plot is therefore largely redundant and the only fun lies in seeing just how imaginative director Andrzej Bartkowiak can become in devising new ways to place his marines in peril.

There is the odd highlight, such as when Bartkowiak turns the film into a first-person shooter in a nod to the game, or the odd surprise involving certain key characters, but they are few and far between.

Performance-wise, The Rock remains as charismatic as ever, while Urban builds on the steely-eyed persona he first unveiled as a rival hitman in The Bourne Supremacy.

But on the whole, characters exist to be slaughtered and the film functions as a countdown to the inevitable.

It may boast the biggest gun in cinema history, but Doom doesn’t really have that much in its arsenal.